Astrology Musings: The ‘Divine’, Extraordinary Sarah Bernhardt

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It would seem famous French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt had little going for her when she was born. Her mother, a courtesan, wasn’t married and it’s said she never knew the identity of her father; Sarah was educated in a convent, where she learned the etiquette which would equip her for life.

She was clearly determined to become an actress – and how. Despite being small and skinny, she more than made up for her obvious disadvantages through sheer will power and ambition.

With Cancer rising her ruling ‘planet’ is the Moon, which is involved in the most important feature of the chart.

She has the Moon exactly conjunct Uranus in Aries in the 10th house of career, exactly opposite Mars. Here symbolised is her emotionally intense, dramatic, fiery, at times explosive nature, plus her sheer determination to succeed, whatever the odds – an implacable ambition, plus a great deal of outspokenness, I should imagine.

Saturn, the planet of patience and work, is well aspected to this configuration, hinting that the vast amount of energy from the opposition was offset into painstaking hard work.

Another interesting feature is her Venus conjunct Chiron in Virgo in the 3rd house of the mind, education and communication. This to me indicates her early life in particular, the strict convent schooling which would have been both difficult and character defining.

Venus can stand for femininity and in Virgo it is very particular, functional, precise. Chiron’s presence here shows how difficult this training was for her, but also reveals her life as an example to others, to make the best of a difficult start to life.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com if you would like a personal astrology report.

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Astrology Musings: Brexit – A Done Deal?

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When PM Johnson and EU President both tweeted at 10:35 am this morning, claiming they had secured a deal in the interests of both sides, I couldn’t resist having a look at the chart of that time set for Brussels.

Fascinatingly, a well aspected Mercury planet of communication was found exactly conjunct the ascending degree (AC) in Scorpio. A very apt time to make a communication or statement in the sign of secrecy (which has been a characteristic of  these talks), especially considering all the cloak and dagger machinations that have been going on for days, if not weeks.

Mercury is ruler of the 11th and 8th houses, hinting at more positivity in regard to aims, legislation and further financial arrangements. Jupiter in its own sign in the 2nd house too, encourages economic growth through free trade deals (Sagittarius).

Continuing Combustion

However, I also note that Uranus, planet of disruption and change is in the 7th house (using whole signs) of deals, treaties, diplomacy – not a good sign and may indicate the continuing combustible nature of these protracted negotiations, where the PM is trying to keep all sides on board, a nigh on impossible task.

Financial arrangements are also going to continue to be very volatile, especially in regard to settlements (Taurus is the major money sign). Uranus is also in difficult aspect to Venus in the first house, Taurus’ ruler, a further indication of fallouts about money and security.

Only a quick look and few insights but clearly this is far from over – but I guess we already knew that.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

*If you would like your own personal astrology report please contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com

Astrology Musings: The brilliant Jean Cocteau

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The remarkable, unconventional, eclectic, multi-faceted brilliance of French artist, writer, designer and producer Jean Cocteau, ought to be shown in his birth chart.

For me the most remarkable feature is his Sun, Chiron (the ‘Wounded Healer’) and the Moon’s north node very close together in Cancer in the 3rd house, with Mars nearby too.

Although this feature would have been common to individuals born around this day, it seems to be particularly personalised in Cocteau’s case by the Moon’s rulership of the 3rd house and the 5th house Moon being in good aspect to the chart ruler Venus conjunct the ascending degree in Taurus. Complicated but remarkable – I will try to explain.

A wounded self esteem

Chiron so close to the Sun in Cancer in the 3rd house indicates that his own self esteem suffered greatly early on in his life. His father (Sun) committed suicide when he was 9 and Jean was to travel about (3rd house) Europe with his mother (Cancer). Though difficult, he was clearly to learn and grow from this.

The strong 3rd house is all about communication, travel, mainly shorter distances. During WW1 he was an ambulance driver, also very 3rd house.

The north node’s inclusion in all of this hints of karmic influences playing a role too; he was meant to immerse himself in the milieu of communication, whether by everyday short distance travel, or writing, rather than through his more natural propensity for longer distance travel and philosophy, as shown by the south node in 9th house.

Saturn in the 4th house also shows difficulties, restrictions in the family, at home and harsh lessons to learn.

Practical and artistic

Taurus rising with Venus close to the ascending degree underlines the artistic practicality required to produces results from the 3rd house communicative potential; Cocteau was a brilliant stage and screen designer as well as artist and writer.

This position for Venus also indicates an attractive individual. However, Neptune is also quite close to Venus and whilst this would have introduced inspiration and a certain alluring changeable quality, which he was noted for, it’s also interesting to note that he did become addicted to opium. A prominent Neptune, although inspiring, can often also show a strong potential for drug taking and addiction – need to escape.

Another indication of constant change is his Mercury in Gemini in the 2nd house in challenging aspect to his Virgo Moon in the 5th house. Here we see a constant readjustment and probably a strong fastidious tendency in practical and creative areas.

His 4th house Saturn, ruler of 10th house of career, in good aspect to the 6th house Uranus, reveals the hard work and unconventional approach he had.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me on leoftanner@gmail.com if you would like a personalised astrology report.

 

Astrology Musings: the Creativity of Victor Hugo

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Writer, poet, dramatist, novelist, essayist, painter, architect, critic… his creations include ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, and the novel ‘Les Miserable’. Few creative geniuses of the 19th century – or at any time – were as eclectic as Victor Hugo.

So what made him tick, astrologically speaking?

I have homed in most particularly to his 5th/11th house axis: love, luck, life (creativity) versus hopes, dreams and wishes – if you will. These themes were to dominate his creative life and his political interests.

Compulsively creative

Here we have the Sun, Pluto and Venus in a loose conjunction in Pisces in the 5th, opposed by Saturn in Virgo. Mercury is also in Pisces in the 5th house in aspect to the expansive Sagittarius Moon and inspirational Neptune.

The 5th house is largely to do with creativity, the children of the mind as well as the body. Pisces is hugely imaginative, sensitive, intensified by Pluto and beautified by Venus in the sign of its greatest flowering – its exaltation. He had a compulsive need to create, an energy which also extended into his emotional life.

Add that inspiring Neptune in his first house in good aspect to communicative Mercury in the 5th house, and we can see just why Hugo was so creatively multi-faceted; he seemed to be able to draw on a vast well of inspiration from all the ages as well as his own.

Social justice ‘warrior’

However, as I said earlier, the triple conjunction of Sun, Pluto and Venus is opposed by a very strict, disciplined Saturn in Virgo in the 11th house of societal issues, and is in a loose conjunction with Jupiter in the last degree of Leo.

This great conjunction occurs every 20 years and is often tied to the ‘birth and death of kings’. It certainly relates to political cycles and, so tensely personalised in his birth chart, is an indication that he was always in tune with, or perhaps we should say troubled by, the great political issues of the day, which indeed he was.

His Saturn is also ruler of his 3rd and 4th houses of communication and home and family. So this may also relate to the fact that his parents never seemed to get on, a lingering dichotomy in his life which must have had deep psychological effects.

Controversial yet popular

All this, plus his ruling planet Mars in ‘off beat’ Aquarius in good aspect to revolutionary Uranus in Libra, may also be indicative of the themes he used in many of his writings; he was an outspoken and harsh critic of the political and social injustices during his life and was not afraid to court with controversy. He went into exile in Belgium and then the Channel Islands in the 1850s.

Despite such controversy, he was a hugely popular writer amongst the people, even in his own lifetime and there was a massive outpouring of grief when he died in 1885.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com if you would a personal astrological report.

Astrology Musings: Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci

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Finding that Leonardo da Vinci was born with Sagittarius rising is no surprise.

The mutable fire sign is ruled by Jupiter, is wide ranging, restless, multi-faceted, all of which are qualities that Leonardo used in his approach to life. He travelled extensively and was gifted several creative and scientific fields.

His ruler, Jupiter, was found in conjunction with the Moon in Pisces in his 4th house. He was sensitive, imaginative, quite private really, though quite generous I would imagine, as indeed stories about him testify.

Nevertheless, his Sun was in Taurus in the 6th house, along with Venus in good aspect to revolutionary Uranus and challenging aspect to prolific Jupiter.

Practical and inspirational

This means he was also totally practical, workmanlike, as well as creatively inspirational. Here was no idle dreamer, in other words, he wanted practical solutions.

This is clearly evident from his art, which produced such enduring masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, to his endless quixotic quests into the functioning of the human body and his ability to invent things which were centuries ahead of their time, like the helicopter and other military solutions for those rulers who gave him patronage. Such patrons included the Medici, Ludovico Sforza, Cesare Borgia and King Francis I of France.

Chiron’s position in the 7th house is an indication that relationships were difficult for him, yet he also developed an ability to help others in theirs.

North node in the 2nd house underlines his task to be practically resourceful in his life – a task which he achieved, considering the voluminous amount and variety of work he got through.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com if you would a personal astrological report.

Astrology Musings: Helmut Ruhemann, definitive art restorer

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Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin By Rogier van der Weyden – a prime example of the restorative work of Helmut Ruhemann.

Helmut Ruhemann was one of the best and best known art conservators and restorers of the early to mid 20th century, who exuded a highly exacting and painstaking attitude towards his profession.

He kept full documentation of his work, as well as photographic records which continue to highlight the methods underlying art conservation to this day.

It is perhaps not surprising to find Helmut was a sun Taurean, but he was also born at the exact time of the New Moon (his chart ruler) with Mercury in close attendance in his 11th house. Here we have the epitome of patience and endurance, but also an appreciation of art as Taurus is ruled by Venus.

His Venus (Sun ruler) is actually in impatient, fiery Aries in the 10th house of career, in good aspect to Mars in Gemini.

An ardent love of art brought down to earth

This would have given him that initial, strong, ardent love and appreciation of art, the need to communicate and disseminate his knowledge of it, and also seek to make this his career (10th house and Mars house ruler).

However, the strong Taurean elements would have grounded this energy in totally practical ways, and this earthy activity being in the 11th house, means that he invariably sought share this with others in the same field as himself, as a way to make a body of knowledge within his profession.

I think we can also see here his willingness to use modern means, x rays for instance, in the process of restoration but only as a way to give a truer, more conservative result, totally in keeping with the original creation where elements like brushstrokes were left unaffected.

One of his most famous restorations is that of early Netherlandish painter Rogier van der Weyden’s Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, a task which totally suited his exacting approach.

Nervous energy and home/career challenges

His Mars is at the apex of a fairly tight T-square involving an angular Jupiter Saturn opposition in mutable signs and houses. There is a lot of nervous energy here.

Jupiter is conjunct the MC here too, and whilst this may be an indication of career success, it clearly was no easy ride to the top, this energy being harnessed and funnelled down to quite precise, deliberate artistic channels.

The fact that he decided to leave his homeland of Germany in 1933 was probably all bound up with this, that natal Saturn exactly conjunct his IC (home, family, origin) maybe always left him feeling a sense of overriding duty, even privation at home (wherever that might be), especially so with Jupiter opposing, offering wider opportunities in the outside world, which he eventually found in Great Britain.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

source: Astro-Databank

***If you would like your own astrology report creating, or one for a loved one or friend, please contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com

2020 Vision: A Landmark Year? Astrology Musings

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In the extraordinary and at times unbelievable worldwide political climate, astrologically symbolised by the up and coming conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in mid January 2020, we have got used to expecting the unexpected.

Saturn and Capricorn stand for the existing political structures. Pluto, by its very nature, is said to be transformative, at best a difficult though necessary cleansing, at worst a drastic enforcer of change which threatens to bring down, or rip up virtually everything – root and branch.

Intriguingly, this conjunction falls close to the Moon’s south node, which has strong karmic associations. What might this mean?

A pivotal year – a time to nurture more

Well, the south node represents where we have come from as a civilisation; being in Capricorn, it shows our satiated materialism, almost to the exclusion of anything else. Pluto involved here shows that we must change, transform, ‘drain the swamp’.

In karmic terms, we must begin to look towards the north node in Cancer, to begin to redress this imbalance.

Cancer stands for nurturing, our family, our origins: in other words, I believe it is telling us to go one step back to allow us to go two forward. We need to understand where we have come from and what we once had, which is now in danger of being lost forever. This period, around the beginning of 2020, may well be the ‘dark night of the soul’ time, in which many of us realise we must change – events may force us into doing so throughout the year.

Dangerous soup

Add to this ‘dangerous soup’ the on going transit of Uranus (sudden change/innovation) in Taurus (finance), another earth sign, and the political and economic instability for the next few years seems assured.

The next few years are very likely to see many serious ups and downs in financial markets, which might well bring ‘innovations’, such as digital or cryptocurrencies, more quickly into the mainstream. Whether such changes actually bring good and long lasting benefits to humanity, however, is debatable.

A spring of conflict?

2020 also sees Jupiter in Capricorn for most of the year and will be joined by Mars in the spring for a few weeks, the latter period quite possibly being the most volatile, politically, economically, even militarily, of all.

However, by the end of the year, most particularly around the exact ‘grand conjunction’, which occurs every 20 years, between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21, we might, just might, begin to see a light at the end of the long tunnel.

Apart from one instance in 1980/81, when this conjunction occurred in Libra, this marks the beginning of a century long stay in air signs for the first time in hundreds of years, since the end of the Middle Ages in fact. What does this mean?

A new age dawning?

For most of the last hundred years or more, the grand conjunction has occurred in earth signs, symbolically encapsulating our materialistic culture, where we have seen huge advances in material science, but not an accompanying positive philosophy to go with it, to make meaning of it. The inception of this ‘new age’ of air, beginning at the end of 2020, might well mean the end of this materialistic age and the final ushering in of a more ‘spiritual’ era.

However, Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2024 before finally entering Aquarius. In 2026 Uranus moves into Gemini and Neptune moves into Aries. In other words, by around the mid 2020s, a far more positive vibe begins to resonate in the world. Perhaps, in some real sense, if the so-called Age of Aquarius has a true beginning at all, then it might just be around 2025/6.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

If you would like your own personal astrology report, or would like one for a family member or friend, please contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com